Clear tax penalties or risk additional charges, KRA warns

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Tax regulator KRA
The Kenya Revenue Authority logo. PHOTO/COURTESY: KRA

The Kenya Revenue Authority has directed tax defaulters to clear their debt within two weeks or risk additional penalties on the due amounts.

According to data from the regulator, approximately 200,000 thousand Kenyans failed to file their returns by the end of the 2017/18 financial year deadline.

“Please make payment within 15 days, failure to which the amounts will attract collection enforcement measures,” the taxman said in a statement last week.

Over the past few weeks, KRA has received complaints from tax payers who insist the tax regulator is still pursuing them for defaulting on tax payments even though they have filed their returns.

The taxman however reiterated that the newly launched system for tracking outstanding debt (principal, penalties and interest amounts) generates periods where a taxpayer has not filed tax returns as stipulated by law.

“Roll-out of this module led to the generation of default notices for all outstanding debt in taxpayers’ ledgers for periods 2015 to date,” the tax regulator is quoted as saying by a Local Daily.

“Recipients of the notices should seek assistance from our contact centres if they have any questions or require any clarifications.”

Defaulting on filing tax returns has been identified by the Tax Regulator as the number one hindrance to generating Kenya’s Ksh. 2.97 trillion budget. Following stricter regulations by the taxman during the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year, the tax man collected Ksh. 329 billion as compared to Ksh. 317.4 billion collected during the same period last year. This represents a 3.7 per cent increase in revenue collection in the period under review.

The Kenyan Law stipulates that all individuals with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) have to file their returns annually; even those with zero returns.

The Kenya Revenue Authority; in the past few months, has been targeting tax cheats as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as it looks to improve on its collection targets. Following the Commander-in-Chief’s directive, the agency has incorporated technology use in tax filing to root out tax defaulters.

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